Library Stop: Welles-Turner Memorial Library

Today’s library stop is the last but certainly not the least of my Glastonbury, Connecticut Library series.

August featured the East Glastonbury Library
September featured the South Glastonbury Library

Today we’re at the Welles-Turner Memorial Library in the town center of Glastonbury, CT. It’s the only one of Glastonbury’s libraries designed to serve as a library. East Glastonbury was originally a church and South Glastonbury was a two-room schoolhouse.

Sign in front of the Welles-Turner Memorial Library

The Welles-Turner Memorial Library sits on the site of the former home of Harriet Welles Turner Burnham. Her original house was moved and still stands (you can see a photo of it here).

Welles Turner Memorial Library front walk way

Upon her death, Harriet Welles Turner Burnham (1856-1931) willed her money in a trust to her second husband. Upon his death in 1941, money she left for the creation of a library was given to the town and in 1951 the Welles Turner Memorial Library born.

Welles Turner Memorial Library left of front entrance

Roy D. Bassett was the architect. He was charged with creating a design that looked like a house and reflected the colonial architecture in the area. The outcome was this brick building in the Dutch Colonial tradition. (Thanks to The Amityville Horror, the gambrel roof is not my favorite look, but it is fairly popular in Connecticut.)

Welles Turner Memorial Library book bench detail

Close up of the book bench in the photo above.

Welles Turner Memorial Library original front entrance

The original main entrance. I love the pop of red flowers against the white and black of the architecture.

Welles Turner Memorial Library right front facade close up

Looking up at the front right corner of the building.

Wide angle photo of the side showing the breadth of the Welles Turner Memorial Library

This is a wide-angle photo of the side of the library. I normally don’t like wide-angle shots taken on my iPhone because there is image distortion, but this gives you an idea of the library’s size.

I’m assuming the back of the original building ended below that gambrel roof. In 1965 a glass and metal addition was added. In the 1990s a third addition was approved along with a renovation that covered the 1960s addition with white brick to give the building a unified look.

Covid-19 book drop Welles Turner Memorial Library

Documenting Covid-19 library practices. The sign reads: “We are now accepting returns of library materials. Please note, returned items will sit in “quarantine” for a period of at least 72 hours. They will not be checked in until after that point. Please wait one week before contacting us about items still checked out to your account.”

The photo was taken in August and this is still the procedure for returned materials in Connecticut as of today, Halloween 2020.

backside or new main entrance Welles Turner Memorial Library

At the back of the library, away from the street and facing a generous parking lot, is the latest edition and the new main entrance. These two structures have a New England church or meeting house vibe. They subtly mirror the front of the building.

Main Entrance Welles Turner Memorial Library

The main entrance.

Window on new addition Welles Turner Memorial Library

Tall windows grace the sides of the new addition, letting in lots of natural light.

Outside seating area Welles Turner Memorial Library

Back at the front of the library. This lovely courtyard and outdoor seating area is to the left of the library when you’re looking from the street.

This is perhaps the most stunning tree I’ve encountered gracing the front of a library. It is a Great Copper Beech tree that was probably planted in the 1870s when Harriet lived on the property.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this library stop photo essay. To read more about the library’s history, click here.

Welles-Turner Memorial Library
2407 Main Street
Glastonbury, CT 06033

Do you have a favorite of the three libraries of Glastonbury?

Check out more of my library posts:

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